Collectively known as “The Gastineau Girls” since appearing on the E! Network back in 2005 and 2006, Lisa Gastineau and daughter Brittny Gastineau have conquered the A-list social scene from New York to Hollywood. Red carpet events, modeling gigs, TV appearances and trips around the globe are all in a day’s work for the self-proclaimed glamour girls. Brittny counts platinum selling recording artist Ciara, reality super star Kim Kardashian and New York Knicks royalty La La Vasquez as her BFFs, while Lisa Gastineau has Manhattan’s Upper East Side on lock and pals around with The Real Housewives of New York City.
Together, Brittny and Lisa Gastineau have cultivated a line of fabulous jewelry that embodies the glitz and glam of their whirlwind lifestyle while also displaying their rock-rebel and spiritual sides. Their original line, Tres Glam, is a mother-daughter collaboration of fine baubles, culminating from years of professional experience and an outright obsession with beautiful jewelry. Tres Glam has adorned a who’s who of both young and established Hollywood players, with stand-out pieces like their evil eye necklace encrusted with black and white diamonds, diamond heart locket earrings and a bold and lavish butterfly ring, all set in 18 karat gold.
In their latest collaboration, the Gastineaus are bringing their signature glamour to HSN with a fun and affordable jewelry line, aptly named Gastineau Glamour, premiering on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) on Monday, March 21, 2011.
PR.com (Allison Kugel): Do the two of you ever get mistaken for sisters? You seem to have a sister thing going on.
Lisa Gastineau: Often, and much to Brittny’s chagrin. We always question their eyesight and their motive (laughs).
PR.com: Brittny, do you have kind of a sister or best friend thing going on with your mom, or do you feel distinctly like mother and daughter?
Brittny Gastineau: Obviously she is my mom, but I think that with our relationship, we’re so close that we are best friends. I can tell my mom anything. I know that with some mothers and daughters the daughter might feel like they can’t say anything to their mom. I definitely don’t have that type of relationship with her. If something goes wrong in my life I don’t go to my friends, I go to my mom.
PR.com: Lisa, you look great! Did you have Brittny when you were really young?
Lisa Gastineau: Very! I was of the debate of whether to say I was a bad girl or I was young.
PR.com: You were married.
Lisa Gastineau: Yeah, I was married but I was married really young, at nineteen.
PR.com: Are you living out your young wild years now at a later age?
Lisa Gastineau: I’m not as wild as I’d like to be, unfortunately, maybe because I have to work too much. I haven’t quite lived out all of my wildness. There was always more to come. It’s all in the making but I have a playful, fun side.
PR.com: And Brittny, are there times when Lisa will try to give you advice, get angry with you or try to teach you the right or wrong thing, even now?
Brittny Gastineau: Of course, yeah. She always tries to be the mother and give me advice, and that’s just me being a stubborn kid. Everyone has their flaws when it comes to that. And she always ends up being right. And it’s annoying (laughs).
Lisa Gastineau: I tell her that when things get really bad they do get better. If you chronicle the world, there are times going back to biblical days where it gets bad and then it gets better. And there is a lot to be said about listening to someone who has lived. At one point the wise man’s word was respected and there was something to be said for experience. I’m in the same lifestyle [as Brittny]. I just started a lot earlier. I’ve lived a lot… being married to athletes, dating politicians, you name it. I have a diverse pool of information that I can pull from my life and the thing that I most try to tell Brittny is don’t let anything get you down, just keep on plugging. Whatever it is, you can change it.
PR.com: When it comes to things like dating, do you girls try to fix each other up?
Brittny Gastineau: You know what’s funny with dating? I can probably almost 100% pick out a man for my mom, and my mom can definitely pick out a guy for me. She knows exactly what I like and vice versa. My mom’s probably set me up with the majority of my boyfriends.
PR.com: And it goes well, it’s not a disaster?
Brittny Gastineau: Well, it hasn’t worked so… but I don’t have, like, an ex that I don’t talk to. They’ve all been really great relationships.
Lisa Gastineau: My boyfriend is my business (laughs). My husband is laying on that tray (referring to a spread of her signature jewelry). Plus, they say the more you don’t think about it the more chance of it happening.
PR.com: Now let’s start with your original jewelry line, Tres Glam, and work our way forward to Gastineau Glamour for HSN. When did Tres Glam officially launch?
Lisa Gastineau: Tres Glam was always me, but under the name of Lisa Gastineau. We did it as a company name, Tres Glam, about five years ago. Those are 18 karat and that’s between one thousand dollars and fifteen thousand dollars. It’s mixes of precious stones like diamonds, emeralds, black diamonds, sapphires, pink sapphires, crystals, and it’s all in 18 karat.
PR.com: And you both seem very spiritual. I noticed it in the pieces.
Lisa Gastineau: I am. I tend to not go to things that are religious themes, although we have touched on that with the Gastineau Glamour line where we did symbols with crosses and with Jewish stars. But it’s more about spirituality and less about religion.
PR.com When you were doing the show Gastineau Girls for E!, there wasn’t any mention of your jewelry passion or your jewelry business, or your spiritual sides for that matter?
Lisa Gastineau: I know. You know why? It served the purposes of the show for us to be dilettantes. But Brittny, her first moments when I had my stores, she grew up playing and selling jewelry to herself in the mirror. She’d be going through the costume collection and when she was five years old I would get calls from teachers saying, “I’m sorry Ms. Gastineau, did you know that your daughter is wearing a rather large what looks like a diamond cocktail ring?” I’d be like, “Hold on to her. I’ll be right there!” So Brittny cut her teeth on jewelry.
Brittny Gastineau: [With Gastineau Girls] they showed us looking at jewelry but they never addressed that my mom has been in the business for so long, and I grew up selling jewelry to myself in the mirror. And I would go into my mom’s store, pick out earrings for her birthday and re-gift her (laughs). I would then walk into her store and see the earrings I gave her back on the shelf, and I would be so upset.
Lisa Gastineau: Well, I actually have a locksmith here today to put a lock on my closet door, how about that? (laughs). My closet has been, like, the lending closet (laughs). I’m one of those people with a passion for fashion and I’ve been dragging it all over the country for, I can’t even tell you how many moves.
Brittny Gastineau: She thinks I always take something and then give it back, so it’s fine. She thinks that I take something and lose it, and then she always ends up finding it an hour later. So that will save me the anxiety of her saying, “You took it, you took it!” So fine, put a lock in (laughs).
PR.com: You incorporate the evil eye symbol into your jewelry design quite a bit. Do you know the origin of that symbol?
Lisa Gastineau: Our evil eye was inspired by the Turkish eye. If you look at a dollar bill there is a pyramid shape, and in that pyramid is the eye. It’s kind of the all knowing protection symbol. It’s really all about protection.
PR.com: Lindsay Lohan was recently seen making a court appearance wearing one of your signature pieces, the evil eye necklace pendent by Tres Glam. Did you lend that piece to Lindsay Lohan for her court date?
Lisa Gastineau: Mmm hmm.
PR.com: Now your jewelry line, Tres Glam, is so heavily linked with Lindsay and her drama in the press.
Brittny Gastineau: I believe that you shouldn’t kick someone when they’re down, and I always believe that you should support your friends. I’ve known Lindsay for a really long time, and I feel like if when she was going through something bad, if I can offer her my jewelry as a friend and be there for her, then I don’t see a problem with that.
Lisa Gastineau: We’re all New Yorkers. I admire Lindsay as an actress. I think that she’s got a lot of stuff going on, unfortunately. She’s an incredible talent, and I really hope to see her get back on her feet and not be worrying about all of the other things she’s been worrying about and get back to what she does, and that’s being an actress.
PR.com: Do you mind the fact that your jewelry line is so heavily linked in the press with what’s going on with her right now?
Lisa Gastineau: I’m happy to see my piece on [her], and if it in some way gives her protection then more power to it. I don’t know how quickly I would want to be selling it to somebody who is being accused of a hate crime or something really bad. But for someone who may or may not have been falsely accused, why not? Besides, alongside the eye she was also wearing these diamond locket earrings that she also borrowed [from us]. And she’s worn things at the gift suites we’ve done, like the Oscar suites. I’m not the judge and juror and I’m happy to have people wear it.
Brittny Gastineau: Lindsay actually has amazing style and I’ve always said that about her, that she has amazing style, and she really knows her designers and knows how to put outfits together.
PR.com: Now let’s talk about the new HSN jewelry line, Gastineau Glamour.
Lisa Gastineau: It comes from the foundation of our belief in glamour, and glamour doesn’t come with a price tag. It’s very aspirational; you can aspire to it. Hopefully some of the stories will be inspiring and we’ll take people on a journey to places we’ve been that have inspired some of the pieces. One ring that we have, which is a double ring, was inspired by our trip to Europe and looking at the Byzantine architecture. It’s white and yellow stones in sort of a paisley pattern. Then there is another ring that sits up really high. It looks like something a Duchess would wear, but an old Duchess in the courtesan days.
PR.com: How were you able to take your original jewelry line, Tres Glam, and re-interpret it for HSN in a more affordable way to create the Gastineau Glamour jewelry line?
Lisa Gastineau: The HSN jewelry is in sterling, and it’s a combination of semi-precious [stones] with enhanced cubic zirconia and colored zirconia. But every piece of jewelry has some fine element. It won’t be the entire thing like in Tres Glam, but there will be a real pearl or there will be real diamonds set in sterling silver. Our cuff, which is the most expensive part of this line, is made of genuine stingray [leather] and pink sapphires in a flamingo, set in sterling silver. And sterling has now quadrupled since December and has become a super-precious metal. Sterling is no longer the stepchild of gold and platinum (laughs).
PR.com: Who does most of the actual designing for Tres Glam and for Gastineau Glamour, and who comes up with the ideas?
Brittny Gastineau: It’s definitely an equal collaboration. My mom has been in the business longer so she has more experience. Sometimes I go for what I like, but that’s not necessarily what will sell, and she definitely has the experience with that.
Lisa Gastineau: This has been my full time job for over fifteen years. I had two boutiques on Long Island and I started out with my mom who had vintage antique stores. We would go for auctions and I’d get that paddle up and buy the jewelry. It was also a way for me to feed my habit. I’d buy jewelry and then someone would like it so I would sell it for a profit and buy something else. I upgraded my fine jewelry collection, and then I got to the point where I wasn’t finding exactly what I needed, so I would combine some vintage pieces I had with new things that I would make. That’s how this all came about.
PR.com: With your more expensive line, Tres Glam, versus the Gastineau Glamour jewelry line for HSN, do you feel like you can easily relate to both types of consumers? And aside from your wealthier friends, do you also have friends who are on tighter budgets?
Brittny Gastineau: I don’t judge my friends on how much income they have. My friends all have different various incomes. It’s hard, you know? Not everyone can afford a five thousand dollar ring. I’m going to go buy the HSN stuff. If it’s great jewelry and it’s affordable, what could be better than that?
PR.com: Lisa, can you relate to your HSN customer just as well as your Tres Glam customer?
Lisa Gastineau: Totally I relate. First of all, the foundation of my jewelry at [my boutique], Lisa’s Pieces on Long Island, was costume. Fashion and a desire to have beautiful things doesn’t necessarily have to come with a price tag. There are always the women who are going to want a solitary diamond. But there is a person for every seat. One of the important parts of being able to reach a customer is to know that we’re in tough times now. Everyone can’t go out and buy something for three thousand. Everybody can’t go out and buy something for five hundred. But one thing about HSN is they make it so easy and affordable for their customers. They run it in a few payments so it’s a perfect fit because you can get beauty, you can get fashion, you can feel glamorous and it’s a real personal thing. When you’re buying jewelry it’s just about the most personal thing you can buy, and it’s all about you. Especially now, in tough times, when there is not much around to make you feel fabulous, I hope when people are wearing our jewelry it will make them feel fabulous, and it will be that little touch of glamour in otherwise bleak days.
PR.com: In my own experience, I’ve noticed that when it comes to treating myself, whether I spend a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars, sometimes it’s all kind of the same and you get that same rush regardless of the price tag.
Lisa Gastineau: Exactly. It’s about buying something you love. That’s why sometimes you can get as much pleasure in a flea market as going into Harry Winston. It’s the find. It’s, “Oh My Gosh, look at this!” And it looks like a million bucks. And, you know, our inspiration is the glamour girls.
PR.com: I know that the both of you are really into fashion and you’re both blessed and able to treat yourselves to designer pieces. HSN is geared towards the everywoman. Brittny, if you were living on a much tighter budget, how would you go about keeping up with the latest jewelry and fashion trends?
Brittny Gastineau: My budget is not that big, let’s not get that confused (laughs). I’m definitely the everywoman!
PR.com: Well that being said, how do you go about staying on trend with your jewelry and fashion choices?
Brittny Gastineau: I read magazines and what’s going on with celebrities and what they’re wearing. I love Forever 21; that’s my favorite store. It’s just about keeping on trend and seeing something in Vogue that is super high-end and then making that your own and putting it together with stuff that you already have in your closet. You don’t always have to go and spend a fortune on designer clothes.
PR.com: Do you girls consider yourselves socialites, or how do you know if you’re a socialite?
Lisa Gastineau: I think a socialite is someone who is either born into the manner as far as family money or someone who is just doing things and getting their picture taken. I prefer to call myself a glamourite. Then you don’t have to have any lineage or any pedigree. You’re there to be glamorous and at the same time be very socially glamorous. It doesn’t mean it’s all about you. I think in the world you get what you give and I think that wanting beauty doesn’t make you selfish as long as you do other things… and we do. That is one thing that Brittny can say has been hammered into her since she has been three years old. She’s always been aware that as bad as you think things are, there is always someone who has it worse.
PR.com: How are you both feeling about your live debut on HSN? Are you excited, nervous?
Brittney Gastineau: I am really nervous! This has been our dream for seven years and it’s finally coming to fruition, and it’s just so exciting. I’m excited, nervous… I’m nervous to go live.
Lisa Gastineau: I’ve always sold to people one-on-one when they’re in front of me and you can reach out for their hand and actually put that ring on them, or the necklace. As experienced as I am, I am nervous. It’s a new baby. I’m ready to go, I have my due date and I’m going in and I’m giving birth. We did all the work, we’ve gone through the Lamaze (laughs), and here it is, you know?
PR.com: But no epidural (laughs).
Lisa Gastineau: Right, well there’s no epidural (laughs) and there’s no coach. Just Brittny and I feeding off each other and hopefully we can just do what we do really well.
PR.com: Don’t you have to keep on talking on the air, and you can’t let any time lapse and have dead air?
Brittny Gastineau: Yeah. Thank God I have my mom! Thank God for Lisa, because we know there’ll be no dead air (laughs). I’d be like, “Uh… um… yeah… this is great!”
Lisa Gastineau: We’re the yin and the yang of each other. We play really well off of each other.
The Gastineau Glamour jewelry collection will make its debut on HSN March 21, 2011.
Follow Brittny Gastineau on Twitter @brittgastineau and follow Lisa Gastineau @lisagastineau.